By Macey-Marie Hobson

Planning for Panhellenic recruitment began in April, faculty and staff looked toward Fall 2020. RS20208 Orientation Leaders 2018 2 scr

By late June, it became evident that an in-person event would not be possible to practice safe behaviors, and the decision was made to have a fully virtual recruitment for the upcoming fall term.

“UAB’s fraternities and sororities worked over the summer to develop virtual recruitment and intake programs that would allow students to join their organizations while trying to stop the spread of COVID-19,” says Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Scotty Rainwater. 

“This change to virtual recruitment and intake has been challenging to our chapters, but they have risen to the challenge. Fraternities and sororities provide an opportunity for students to get involved and engaged with campus. Although we must operate mostly virtually now, that has not changed and we want to continue offering this opportunity to students who want to join.”

 

What has it been like from a student’s perspective? Alpha Gamma Delta President Anna Pitsinos says, “The process was unlike any other. We held virtual recruitment at the end of August. Although it was an untraditional experience, it was successful.”

Chapters utilized Zoom as their virtual platform and incorporated breakout rooms to have one-on-one time with potential members with sessions lasting around 45 minutes per group. 

“We are so happy with the way things turned out and our new pledge class we received,” says Pitsinos.

Zeta Xi Chapter of Delta Gamma Vice President of Communications Carson Leva says, “We recently finished up our primary recruitment and secondary recruitment. Though primary recruitment did look very different this year, I think adapting to change and being willing to keep one another safe really helped our chapter to grow closer.” 

“Being entirely virtual helped us to have an even deeper focus on values-based recruitment, conversations, and connections we had with each woman going through,” Leva says. “We had less frills and therefore were really able to focus on who the women were deep down. Without door stacks, coordinated outfits, and focus on decorations/looks, we were able to focus more on conversation. This allowed us to focus on what really mattered to the women and what they were passionate about.”

The most important thing that UAB fraternities and sororities want students to know is that they have made safety a priority.

“While we miss face-to-face interactions, we know that it is a necessary precaution that will benefit us and those around us,” Leva says.

 

Moving forward, chapters can meet up and welcome new members but must follow the university guidelines. Each chapter has taken its own approach on recruitment and initiation, willingly helping other groups along the way. Primary and secondary recruitment has already been completed for the semester. However, next semester there may be another round of informal recruitment if chapters do not reach their quota in the fall. 

Instead of dividing and limiting recruitment and intake this year, the chapters feel that the unfortunate events have actually brought everyone closer together… virtually that is. 

 

 

For more information and important dates, be sure to visit www.uab.edu/students/involvement/fraternity-sorority.